Glendale Community College to cut summer classes, faculty pay

Glendale Community College is poised to reduce its 2012 summer session by an additional 80 classes and cut faculty pay 3.95% if state revenues fail to meet expectations, according to the terms of a new contract announced Tuesday.

“No one is happy with it, but it was the best we could do, so we are just going to have to accept it,” Faculty Guild President Isabelle Saber said.

The agreement between the college and its faculty union hinges on the severity of mid-year state budget cuts to public education that are expected to be announced mid-December, representatives for both parties said.

If state revenues fall more than $1 billion short, triggering a $30-million state funding cut for community colleges and a $10 per-unit student fee increase, full-time faculty members will see their salaries reduced 2.95% during the current academic year, officials said.

If revenues are more than $2 billion below projections, community colleges will face $102 million in cuts. In that case, full-time Glendale Community College faculty members will take a 3.95% salary reduction, while adjunct faculty members will absorb a 1% salary reduction. College and union leaders also would return to the bargaining table to discuss additional cuts as needed.

“I believe both sides really were negotiating in the best interest of the district and the students,” President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay said. “I really have to give them credit. This is hard.”

The pay reductions in both scenarios would save the college $675,000 and $1 million, respectively, said Ron Nakasone, vice president of administrative services.

No matter the scenario, summer school, which already took a hit this year, would be reduced further. The 2012 session will include 120 courses with faculty members earning 80% of their summer rate. Last summer, the college offered 200 summer school classes while paying faculty members just 60% of their normal intersession salaries.

Faculty members are paid on a 10-month system, and because the agreed upon pay cut is retroactive to the beginning of the fall semester, they will have to absorb the entire reduction in the seven remaining paychecks, Saber said.

“It will be a 6.5% cut on our remaining paychecks,” she said. “The more time we spent, the heavier that burden would have become. That was also a consideration for our members.”

The average Glendale Community College faculty member has seen their income drop by about $15,000 in the last year, Saber said, adding that they are now some of the lowest-paid, when compared to 13 Southern California community college districts.

“In all the different snapshots, for entry-level, mid-level and high-level faculty, we are either dead last now, or maybe 12th,” Saber said. “We are really lagging behind in terms of our pay behind everyone else, including Compton College.”

The college has already reduced expenditures by more than $7 million, whittling its 2011-12 operating budget down to $82.7 million through staff reductions, a scaled-back 2011 summer session and the elimination of the 2012 winter session, among other measures.

Earlier this year, the management and classified staff bargaining groups agreed to accept pay reductions of 5% and 2.8%, respectively.

During a college board of trustees meeting on Nov. 21, Sacramento lobbyist Mark MacDonald told officials to prepare for the worst, although there may be relief in the form of a tax measure that could generate $400 million for community colleges — if it makes it to the ballot.

“You could have a $400-million increase versus another year of looking at where we are going to make cuts, flat budgets, additional deferrals,” he said. “It is a huge difference."

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